Great Quest Fertilizer Ltd has released a statement announcing positive results from the cadmium and uranium contaminant analysis for its Tilemsi phosphate project in Mali.
As part of the in-process study to upgrade a portion of its large inferred phosphate resource, the company claims that it analysed its high grade phosphate rock for cadmium and uranium – common contaminants found associated with phosphate production around the world. Results on assays performed by ALS on samples taken from Great Quest’s recent work at Tilemsi returned a range for cadmium of 1 – 2.6 ppm, with an average of 1.7 ppm (or 7.4 milligrams per kilogram of P2O5). For uranium, a range of 5 – 76 ppm, at an average of 50 ppm, was obtained.
In the statement, Great Quest claims that cadmium is considered to be the most problematic due to the fact that it does not dissolve in runoff. It builds up in the soil and often finds its way into food. The EU has the strictest guidelines for cadmium content in fertilizer. These guidelines prohibit the use of fertilizer that contains over 60 mg of cadmium per kilogram of P2O5. This cutoff level means that a significant portion of phosphate that is mined around the world cannot be sold in Europe. Furthermore, recommendations have been put forward in the EU to tighten restrictions to 20 mg Cd/kg P2O5, which is a level that many would consider safe, but which simultaneously would disqualify a significant amount of the world’s current phosphate production.
Work from this recent program is aimed at upgrading small portions of Great Quest’s current inferred resource to indicated and measured resources by reducing the sample grid spacing. The company recently completed a detailed topographical survey – the final fieldwork needed for the upgraded resource and mine plan.
The President and CEO of the company, Jed Richardson, said: “The low cadmium and uranium results of our material, demonstrate the unique high quality of the Tilemsi deposit. The high phosphate grades and low contaminants, are a ‘best-of-both-worlds’ combination, which is very rare for a sedimentary resource. If we see stricter regulations to protect food production around the world from contaminants like cadmium, we expect that the Tilemsi rock is well poised to meet those stringent standards. Excellent news for the future of our project and company.”